Stories

Pouluang dreams of building a small store with a larger working space to have others support him. However, recent payments to repair his truck, which he uses to transport the stoves, and tuition fees for his daughter, mean that it will take a little longer for him to make his dream a reality.
Before giving birth to her third child, Bing often jumped back and forth between Laos and Thailand, working mainly at construction sites. For the last five years or so, she has made a living collecting Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in wetland areas around the city and selling them at the local...
A lao woman standing next to a motorbike she used to deliver food to her customers during the pandemic
Her job promised a positive future for Chandy, a mother of two, but Covid-19 has taken away her dream to make money to support her family and provide a good education for her children. “I had never borrowed money to buy food before but the lockdown forced me to do so. I am now in debt for about 1...
A low income worker holds a basket full of morning glory
‘’Without the food we get from the wetland, we would not be able to survive,’’ explains Thaek. Khaek’s family is one of many poor households in Nongthatay village, about 8km from central Vientiane. The family’s main income comes from making and selling aprons. But the virus outbreak brought their...
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced governments around the world to impose strict measures to contain the potentially deadly virus. As in other parts of the world, Lao authorities initiated a nationwide lockdown to limit the movement of citizens. This strategy has helped Laos maintain a low number of...
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A Lao female informal worker carries a stack of old cardboard boxes for recycling
COVID-19 has brought and continues to bring unpreceded challenges for many countries around the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, at this phase the virus had affected 114 countries and resulted in the 4,000 deaths globally.
A student from the National University of Laos hand a bamboo basket to a wet market vendor
Wet markets are extremely common in Laos and are the most widespread venues for people to buy and sell meat, vegetables and other products. Although traditional forms of packaging still exist, single-use plastic is widely used.
Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people.